Head Lopper # 9 | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Saturday, June 3rd, 2023  

Head Lopper # 9


Sep 13, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The adventures of Norgal, the devastatingly badass barbarian and titular hero, once more grace the pages of Image Comics in a brand new adventure. In this latest volume, The Knights of Venora, writer and artist Andrew MacLean expands his rich, fascinating world to the city of Venoriah. Readers don’t have to pick up the previous books in order to follow this new storyline but they’d be depriving themselves of some of the finest quality comics around.

A flashback kicks off the latest Head Lopper with a peek at Agatha Blue Witch before she teamed up with Norgal. Their alliance has always been prickly and mysterious so it’s nice to see a little insight into her life before Norgal. In the present day, Norgal and Agatha meet a knight named Arlen on the road to Venoriah. MacLean has a knack for creating fully realized secondary characters and Arlen is no exception. The warriors form a quick alliance and head to city which has banned all magic in anticipation of an epic celestial event connected to a great stone egg held within Venoriah. This event pits the leaders of the city, including the creepy Archcleric Florentine (MacLean is just dandy with making villains, too) against the treefolk and goblins. Norgal, of course, is stuck in the middle and will have to decide which heads need loppin’ and which shall be spared. The barbarian’s own pilgrimage to the city’s massive egg is another mystery to be unraveled. MacLean’s already strong plotting only gets better in this issue.

It would be remiss to not mention Jordie Bellaire returning as colorist on the series. MacLean’s inks are beautiful on their own but another level immersion is reached when Bellaire brings her own bit of magic to Norgal’s world.

Lastly, the release schedule of Head Lopper is worth mentioning. MacLean’s “quarterly adventure comic” is a fantastic way to follow the exploits of Norgal and Co. It’s reminiscent of the more creator-friendly European releases and with over 50 pages of battles, snappy dialogue and gorgeous art, it’s a true feast for readers as well. This straightforward, sword swingin’ barbarian may just be the wave of comics’ future. Catch it!


Author rating: 9/10

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